Monday, August 10, 2009

The LoadDown - 08/10/2009

A pretty good week this week, at least on the Wii:

WiiWare - Two titles this week: NyxQuest: Kindred Spirits and Rock N' Roll Climber. NyxQuest was known as Icarian during development, apparently retitled to prevent confusion with Nintendo's Kid Icarus property, but it remains a very nice-looking European-developed side-scroller with a Greek mythological theme and some interesting puzzles mixed in with the magical combat. Rock N' Roll Climber simulates rock climbing in an arcadey sort of way, with two-handed Wiimote/nunchuk climbing and optional support for the Wii Balance Board. Might be physically fun to play for a while.

Virtual Console - Not dead at all, it appears, at least when there are fewer than three new WiiWare titles lined up for release. So this week we get a classic licensed game, unpreceded by solid rumors, with a big name: JVC's Super Star Wars for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. This game is TOUGH -- I remember playing it back in the 90's, and it's one of the few times I resorted to an invincibility cheat just so I could see the whole game. I remember being impressed by the opening Mode 7 story crawl and the sample-based orchestral rendition of John Williams' classic score, making fine use of the SNES' advanced capabilities. But the gameplay is pretty standard platforming and shooting, VERY loosely tied to the movie's plot (unless I am just not remembering the scenes in which Luke mows down Jawas with his lightsabre, and Chewbacca rampages through the Mos Eisley cantina with a high-powered laser rifle.) I'd really like to see the bat guano insane Japanese NES game show up on the VC as an import title, in which final boss Darth Vader transforms into a giant scorpion, but this is a pleasant surprise all by itself.

DSiWare - Brain Age Express: Arts & Letters provides simple exercises with an arts and literature theme, including a Reading Aloud section that apparently earned an ESRB mention of "mild language" alongside its E rating.

XBLA - Last week's Summer of Arcade entry was Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles In Time - Re-Shelled -- a graphically updated version of the TMNT classic originally released on the SNES, heavily based on the TMNT coin-op arcade game already available on XBLA. The price was dropped pre-release from 1200 to 800 Microsoft points, but the game still feels expensive and old-fashioned -- it's a scrolling beat-'em-up, designed to eat quarters with frequent cheap hits and sudden deaths. Strictly for nostalgic fandom's sake.

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